Guardian gold

Aussie ac­tress sur­prised to land cov­eted pri­est­ess role

Central and North Burnett Times - - SCREEN LIFE - With Seanna Cronin

DE­SPITE her screen ca­reer ac­cel­er­at­ing at a rapid pace, El­iz­a­beth De­bicki was sur­prised to land a role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy se­quel. Guardians is ar­guably the hottest ti­tle in Marvel’s Cin­e­matic Uni­verse, blend­ing in­ter­ga­lac­tic bat­tles with acer­bic hu­mour and a clas­sic rock sound­track.

“I com­pletely didn’t ex­pect it,” De­bicki says.

“I loved the first movie. I thought it was hi­lar­i­ous and clever and heart-warming. And I loved the char­ac­ters. I had spo­ken to James Gunn a few times. He’s a lovely man and a bril­liant di­rec­tor, so I was just so happy to be in­volved.”

The enig­matic Aus­tralian ac­tress – best known for her roles in The Great Gatsby, The Ket­ter­ing In­ci­dent and, most re­cently, The Night Man­ager – plays Aye­sha, the golden high pri­est­ess of the newly in­tro­duced Sov­er­eign Planet.

“She’s a very pow­er­ful wo­man within this planet,” she says.

“She runs ev­ery­thing with an iron fist. Her peo­ple are a ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered race of aliens, and they’re all gold and per­fect and want­ing to be phys­i­cally and men­tally im­pec­ca­ble. Aye­sha has hired the Guardians to pro­tect the planet’s pre­cious bat­ter­ies from an in­ter-di­men­sional beast.”

Set to the new sonic back­drop of an “awe­some” new mix tape, Guardians Vol 2 con­tin­ues the team’s ad­ven­tures as they tra­verse the outer reaches of the cos­mos.

The Guardians must fight to keep their new-found fam­ily to­gether as they un­ravel the mys­tery of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) true parent­age.

It’s fair to say De­bicki’s god­dess-like char­ac­ter looks down her nose at the rag-tag team, and par­tic­u­larly at ac­ci­den­tal hero Quill – aka “Star Lord”.

“Be­cause the Sov­er­eign think they are so su­pe­rior, they’re highly judg­men­tal of any­one,” she says.

“Ev­ery­body, as far as they’re con­cerned, is sort of in­bred and dis­gust­ing and filthy and sort of scrap­ing the bar­rel. The great thing about the in­ter­change with Quill is that Aye­sha’s in­trigued by him, but she’s re­pulsed by him at the same time. Even though she feels that they’re in­fe­rior and dis­gust­ing, she still thinks he’s re­ally good look­ing. That leads to an in­ter­est­ing exchange.”

De­bicki’s all-gold cos­tume is a strik­ing new look for the fran­chise’s ex­pand­ing cast of char­ac­ters and worlds.

“Our cos­tume de­signer man­aged to cre­ate a look that I’ve never seen be­fore on screen. It’s very El­iz­a­bethan. Like an El­iz­a­bethan queen, she’s un­touch­able in that dress,” she says.

“It’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing thing when cos­tume in­forms your char­ac­ter so hugely. The re­stric­tions in a cos­tume like that, the corset el­e­ment of it, the sever­ity of the an­gles of it and even the weight of it, com­pletely in­form how you move be­cause you can’t do cer­tain things in it, which then in­di­cates the type of per­son you are. When you think of the logic of that char­ac­ter, you won­der why she wears some­thing like that. But it’s be­cause she’s in­form­ing her peo­ple the type of queen she is. It com­pletely changes your phys­i­cal­ity.”

De­bicki is full of praise for re­turn­ing writer-di­rec­tor James Gunn, who stamped his unique style on the Marvel uni­verse with the first film.

“The won­der­ful thing about work­ing with James is that he is the writer and the di­rec­tor, so he is su­per spon­ta­neous and flex­i­ble,” she says. “James just has this wicked sense of comic tim­ing, and the com­edy in his writ­ing is so won­der­ful to work with as an ac­tor. He re­ally loves creat­ing this uni­verse. So there’s a sort of joy when you’re work­ing on this set. It’s like a fam­ily. Peo­ple are very chill and they love work­ing to­gether.” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 opens on Tues­day.


◗ El­iz­a­beth De­bicki in a scene from Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2.

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